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and now there are no less than fourteen Public Baths in the county and city in full operation, while in the mansions of nearly all the nobility and gentry private Baths have been constructed. Baths have also been established, principally by his personal exertions and pecuniary assistance, in several towns in Ireland, viz., Dublin, Bray, Waterford, Limerick, Killarney, Sligo, Belfast; besides, others have been opened by public companies and private individuals.
In England, also, very gratifying progress has been made, though the advance has not been creditable in comparison with the wealth, liberality, and reasoning intelligence of its people. In 1858, Dr. Barter visited England, and delivered some lectures, which excited considerable attention. The first public Bath was established at Bradford, and several enlightened professional gentlemen, among whom may be mentioned Dr. Brereton, Sir John Fife, M.D., Dr. Wollaston, and Dr. Haughton, came forward and avowed their belief in its great remedial properties, which led to other establishments being opened in various places.
On visiting London, and inspecting some of the Baths erected there, Dr. Barter was so struck with their imperfections in many respects, that he forthwith got up a Company, and constructed a magnificent model Bath in Great Victoria Street, at the cost of £28,000, but it has been recently purchased by a railway company, under the authority of Parliament. A very excellent Bath, but on a far smaller scale, was subsequently established by Mr. Urquhart, in Jerymn Street, who adopted the improvement of pure Hot Air, introduced by Dr. Barter, as distinguished from visible vapour, and now there are numerous public and private Baths in every quarter of London-all constructed more or less faithfully after the same improved principle.
Indeed, it may be observed, that all properly-constructed Baths are now so regulated as to command atmospheric purity as a prime necessity-the possession of which is still further facilitated by abandoning the ancient Greek hypocaust, or heating by flues beneath the floor, and substituting an improved and
more economic mode of heating from the sides, with provision for ensuring a supply of direct or radiated heat. An excellent new public Bath has been recently constructed in Cork on this plan, by Dr. Barter, and it has been found to answer so admirably, that he contemplates introducing the change into all his Baths.
On the Continent the introduction of the Bath was received with decided popularity and success. In parts of Germany it is announced as the "Irish Bath." But more especially in the United States of America has its progress been signally rapid and prosperous. This may be accounted for by the fact, that new communities are generally inspired by a keener practical intelligence than pervades the population of older states. Customs and prejudices "grow with the growth, and strengthen with the strength," of national institutions, and even when detrimental to national well-being are exceedingly difficult to change or uproot, whereas utility alone is the prevailing rule of thought and action in new countries.
Hence it is that the Hydropathic system, of which the Bath is the crowning perfection, has not found in Great Britain the universal acceptance that might have been expected from its approved utility and rationality. The inveteracy of ancient habits and prejudices on the subject of Drugging cannot be easily or suddenly overcome. A generation educated in traditional Physic superstitions cannot rapidly be made to unlearn even exploded fallacies, and imbibe healthful truths. Thus it is that the pernicious habit of Drugging has become something like a confirmed custom among the population of the kingdom. Rich and poor, high and low, are alike the victims of this fatal folly. No other country yields such abundant and luxurious harvests to the quacks and knaves of medicine. The fashionable physician trades as empirically, only in a more accomplished and less offensive manner, as his humble rival, who extols the infallable merits of his elixirs, catholicons, hygienic pills, and patent quackeries. The difference between them is only in degree. There is the same absence of conscientiousness
in both. They both appeal to the same weaknesses of human nature, both pander to the infirmities, credulities and morbid appetites of their dupes, and both appear alike reckless of human life, while Death impartially crowns with a funereal wreath the practice of both. But
"Time's glory is
"To unmask falsehood, and bring Truth to light."
To time, therefore, must be left the testing of false systems of Physic, as of everything else, and the diffusion of those great Hygienic truths which are destined to make the profession of Scientific Medicine a substantial blessing to mankind. Nor is there any reason for despondency, for when it is considered that twelve years have scarcely elapsed since the first Bath was established at St. Anne's, and how unscrupulous and persistent the opposition has been, the progress already made has certainly been both rapid and cheering.
The Physiology of Life-Its Departments, the Mechanical, Intellectual, and Nutritive-Primary Importance of Healthy Nutrition.
BEFORE the reader is in a position to appreciate aright the invaluable properties of the Hot-Air Bath, it is necessary to possess a general idea of the constitution of the human body, inasmuch as the action of the Bath in preserving health, preventing disease, and, as a curative agent, is based on the unerring laws of our physiological being. At first sight to acquire this knowledge might appear a matter of tedious study, but practically it is not so. Human physiology, to be sure, presents an almost boundless field for scientific inquiry—a vast extent of which has not yet been successfully explored or cultivated. Yet, for all practical purposes of individual health, there is no mystery about the well-ascertained outlines-the great established principles and guides, which, divested of technical phraseology, can be sufficiently understood by the general public, while that they should be thoroughly understood and implicitly followed is of vital importance to the well-being of mankind.
Physiologically speaking, man is composed of certain substances known as solids and fluids-the latter largely predominating. The Solids are the bones, tissues, &c., which make up the mere mechanical organism—the human machine or framework. The Fluids are what afford a constant supply of nutriment to keep that mechanism in motion-to nourish its growth and development. The fluids act through organs which present a complicated combination of parts, each having functions
peculiar to itself to perform, but all wondrously designed to work congruously together in maintaining the perfection of the whole.
Physiological Life is the product of the concurring and harmonious action of this grand organism to one sublime end-the preservation of the individual and of the species. This action is produced and maintained by the chemical changes which the solids and fluids of the body are incessantly undergoing in their relation to each other:
"Every structure in the living body is continually and simultaneously undergoing the processes of composition and decomposition of renovation and decay. Particle by particle of new matter is constantly added to every structure, from the fluid blood, and, at the same time, particle by particle of old matter is constantly absorbed from every structure, and converted to the fluid lymph. So that, while the organic constitution and physiological identity of every structure and of the whole system remain permanent through life, a continual change is taking place in the particles of matter of which our bodies is composed; and, according to the estimate of some physiologists, an entire change of all the matter in our bodies is completed as often as once in seven years."-Graham's Science of Human Life, par. 503.
Hence the internal organism of man has been represented as an active laboratory, in which a number of instruments are constantly transforming into their own substances nutritive particles," by means of which vitality is sustained. Thus, popularly speaking, there is a perpetual pulling down and building up going on in the human system-a continued chemical change in the organism by which the functions of animal life are performed, and this process of incessant change in the elementary substances of which the body is composed constitutes all we know, or are ever likely to know, of what is strictly and properly termed organic life. But it will be observed that while organic life necessarily implies continuous changes, yet all these changes are as necessarily dependent on the external supply of nutriment to the system-as meat and drink, air and sleep, which are alone absolutely required to maintain man as regards his mere animal existence.